The pandemic drastically changed the world in ways many of us never thought possible. One notable change is how digital commerce essentially became a necessity to modern society. Instead of being simply one option among many when making purchases, eCommerce has become the norm. In fact, findings show eCommerce is gaining traction everywhere.
According to Forbes, US retailers' online revenue grew 68% year over year in April 2020, exceeding the previous peak of 49% shown in January. February 2020 saw an 8.8% increase in online conversion rates, according to Quantum Metric, similar to the level of shopping urgency only experienced during Cyber Monday. In addition, 24% of consumers who responded in a survey in 2020 stated they were uncomfortable shopping in a mall more than six months from the time of the poll, and only 16% said they would feel comfortable within the next three months. This alone reflects the increasing popularity of eCommerce.
However, for companies to grow and thrive in a post-pandemic world, it is imperative they start adopting a pandemic-proof organizational model, so to speak. This is why, as an eCommerce business, you have to prepare the best winning strategies to stay ahead of the pack in a post-COVID world.
Implement an Omnichannel Presence to Boost Digital Commerce
Omnichannel commerce means meeting your customers’ needs across all touchpoints and providing them the same seamless experience regardless of whether they are shopping physically, online, by phone.
But why is implementing an omnichannel approach so critical to success? A McKinsey poll of nearly 3,600 B2B decision-makers shows that over 70% of customers prefer conducting business remotely, and a staggering 97% are comfortable making large digital purchases beyond $50,000—a move previously considered unusual. Additionally, only a quarter of B2B customers are interested in resuming face-to-face contact with sales staff. In the same survey, 90% of respondents agree the digital model will stick around, and 70% believe it is at least as effective as pre-pandemic approaches.
On top of these solid figures, there are numerous advantages to using an omnichannel strategy in your business operations. To begin with, allowing your prospects to look through a broad selection of products from their choice of sales channel makes it simpler for them to make a purchase if and when they are ready to. If your product is available across multiple platforms, you significantly increase the likelihood of new and recurring revenue.
With omnichannel digital commerce, you can also consolidate customer data from various channels. This data, when combined with comprehensive eCommerce analytics, provides you a comprehensive overview of customers’ purchasing habits and preferences, allowing you to personalize their shopping journey accordingly.
The Demand for Frictionless Customer Experience
A seamless customer experience is among the factors that make or break a business, especially since customers tend to remember an unpleasant experience more than a positive one. Sixty percent of customers ditched a brand after just a ONE negative customer experience, and over 70% say customer experience influences their purchasing decisions.
So, the less friction your customers experience, the better are your chances of keeping them satisfied and loyal, ultimately increasing revenue and overall business growth. In fact, as reported by Bain & Company, businesses that focus on customer experience registered 4-8% revenue growth over their competitors.
The key to delivering this smooth customer experience is to improve your business processes. Start by finding out what your customers' touchpoints and pain points are. Once you have this data, leverage your digital commerce analytics to devise a data-driven strategy to eliminate friction points along the customer buying journey. This can include implementing automation and other appropriate technology across all touchpoints, from the customer care center to the sales department.
Empower Sales Agents in Multichannel Selling
With multichannel selling, customers can freely browse and buy products via any channel that best suits them. This means orders can be placed directly at the factory, physical store, or over the web using digital commerce platforms, social media channels, and marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
In today’s competitive market, forward-thinking businesses are already leveraging multichannel selling to boost their profitability and help them thrive. But while multichannel selling generates positive results for companies, many B2B sales agents still favor traditional sales over technology-based ones. This is simply because they tend to earn no commissions from online purchases, making them feel like they are competing with the digital channel.
To eliminate this unnecessary barrier in the process, a B2B digital commerce strategy should include encouraging agents to participate in digital sales as part of their incentives/metrics KPI. Develop a commission/incentive plan that empowers your sales team to go the extra mile and produce more leads and sales. This will not only increase their take-home pay but will also boost their productivity and performance while lowering staff turnover.
Turn Customer Analytics and Big Data Into Actionable Insights
The majority of US companies store as much as 100 terabytes of data. That’s a staggering volume of data that can fill 10,000 Libraries of Congress! Although your digital commerce store may not produce as much, it goes without saying that you still end up with significant amounts of data daily.
Simply collecting and storing data is not enough. What can put your digital commerce company ahead of the competition is “big data analytics”—the technology that transforms your data stream into comprehensive and actionable insights.
Analyzing your big data can help you understand the many facets of your business. It can tell you everything about the inner workings of your online store and related data channels, from the overall number of site visitors to the types of items in abandoned carts.
Once you have a digestible metric of your brand’s performance, you can determine the best course of action for your digital commerce business going forward. If an insight indicates that your marketing plan is not working as expected, it’s time to reconsider your strategy and develop fresh initiatives. You can also draw inspiration from your statistics to improve your product offering and understand your customer better.
Innovate Your Digital Commerce Business With Zobrist
While digital commerce is nothing new, the pandemic has accelerated its growth and made it even more relevant. But rather than merely an alternative while pandemic-driven restrictions are in effect, online shopping is expected to become the norm that is likely to continue long after COVID.
For your eCommerce business to make the most out of the post-pandemic world, you need to implement future-proof strategies. You can achieve this by:
- Establishing an omnichannel presence to increase brand exposure
- Making your customer experience as frictionless as possible to maintain a happy customer base
- Encouraging your sales team to engage in digital sales
- Drawing actionable insights from your customer analytics and big data.
Zobrist is here to innovate your eCommerce business and help you thrive in the post-COVID market. Developed using the latest commerce, analytics, and payment technologies, our B2B integrated solutions help you build a solid digital commerce presence, boost customer satisfaction, and, most importantly, drive revenue.
With Mobiecom, you are equipped with an optimized mobile website incorporating unique content and relevant tools for streamlining your business operations. And with the help of Smart Merchandiser, you can quickly and easily reorganize your catalog through automation or manually drag and drop products. Smart Merchandiser empowers digital merchandising teams to make informed display decisions by presenting all the data they need for each product with one click, elevating the online shopping experience for customers, while saving time and frustration across merchandising teams. With Mobiecom and Smart Merchandiser working in tandem, you can deliver a frictionless shopper experience for any business, B2C or B2B.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about how Zobrist can help bring your brand to life and prepare you to flourish in a post-pandemic world.